Family in Exile

Evelyn Waugh, the great Catholic novelist, was rather disappointed with the modern celebration of Christmas. He wrote:

Christmas. All that remains of Bethlehem is the breakdown of communications; no room in the inn.

For Waugh and for many other people, in spite of their deeply religious sentiments, Christmas is very much not “the most wonderful time of the year.” Continue reading

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Christmas Mass at Dawn

From the rising of the sun
To the world’s furthest edge,
We sing to Christ our Prince,
Born of the Virgin Mary.

Blessed maker of the ages
Now takes up the body of a slave,
So flesh may unfetter flesh,
That what He made is not lost.

This ancient Latin hymn for Christmas Lauds, A Solis Cardine, refers to the dawn and the course of the sun across the sky. It also connects this idea with the saving of our flesh by the coming of Christ in the flesh. We pass from darkness into light, from despair to hope, because Christ enters the darkling earth as the Light of the World. Continue reading

The Firmness of Faith in the Cataclysm of Time

Una traduzione abbreviata italiano segue la versione inglese.

Sources below*


“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory” (Mk 13:14-26).

In today’s gospel, Our Lord portends the signs that will accompany the end of the world. The heavens will be shaken to their foundation. The universe will literally come apart, constituting the dissolution of all things of time and the advent of eternity. The sun, moon and stars along with the firmament in which they are set will collapse and fall, and, thus, so shall we.

This is the exact opposite of the way it is all began. The Holy Spirit says in Isaiah:

My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together (48:13).

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SSPX: Accept Them as They Are?

The lightning rod of the SSPX is getting hit from various angles these days. Michael Voris thinks the Society is still schismatic, but Bishop Athanasius Schneider believes there is nothing seriously preventing the SSPX from being fully reconciled. In the middle, Bishop Morlino states there is very good reason why the Society finds itself in an ambiguous situation: they are not excommunicated but they have no ministry because they have chosen “to work outside of—and sometimes against—the hierarchical Church and its structures.”

The members of the SSPX are not being prevented from believing what they want about Vatican II and the new Mass. They remain without a ministry because their own definition their ministry is to expose the Council of Freemasons, Modernists and Jews and oppose the New Mass, which they believe is valid but evil.

Bishop Schneider thinks that both the Society and the Holy See overestimate the importance of Vatican II and regard it in isolation from the other Councils of the Church. But is not the solution he proposes a hermeneutic of continuity, and is this not what other traditionalists priests like those of the Fraternity of St. Peter have agreed to in order to have a ministry?

It seems to me the matter is not simply a question of charity and of stopping the infighting. With all due respect to Bishop Schneider, no matter how Bishop Fellay phrases himself the Holy See is very unlikely to give him a ministry to oppose the Council and the New Mass. And it is very unlikely that Bishop Fellay, a moderate in the Society, will agree to anything less.

Even if there were no doctrinal preamble to sign, in order to give a wider allowance for personal conscience, the Holy See would assure that the Society’s rules reflect the same kind of agreement made by the Ecclesia Dei communities. But the preamble helps to assure that members of the Society know clearly that their personal opinions and what they are permitted to do with the Church’s sanction are two different things.

And lets be Frank. The Holy See has every reason to believe that a mandate given to the SSPX ministry on a “as they are” basis would be considered a blessing on the Society’s mission to oppose Vatican II and the New Mass.

Of a Phantom Confirmation and a Double-Barreled Question

In my last post, I quoted Fr. Volpi response to the claim that he is no longer able to carry out the function given to him by the Holy See to govern our Institute as the Apostolic Commissioner. He effectively denied it. Since then a further claim has been made that in spite of Fr. Volpi’s attestation to the contrary, “he is unable to carry out, both physically and mentally,” his duties.

The source for this report professes to “confirm” (without providing evidence) that the “Volpi era” is effectively over. So the source pretends to both know and at the same time “respect” Fr. Volpi’s his privacy concerning personal medical status, which certainly is the business of the Capuchins and the Holy See, but not that of a blogger or the general public. Continue reading

The Alleluia Battle Anthem

A blessed Easter to all.  I remembered all my readers this evening at the Easter Vigil at St. Mary Majors.

This is a repost from several years ago.

Crucem Sanctam subiit

A military chant from the Knights Templars (the real ones) in honor of the Resurrection and Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem

Latin and English Lyrics

He bore the holy cross
who shattered hell
He was girded with power
He rose on the third day. Alleluia!

Continue reading

Concerning Recent Reports from the Blogosphere on the State of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate

The first point to be made is that the sources for recent the “reports,” are not responsible news outlets but bloggers, all of them, except one, are pseudonymous or anonymous. They have provided no evidence, that is, they have made purely hearsay allegations, or otherwise claimed to have “evidence” from which they have quoted excerpts without producing the document or its context. All the sources for these reports are clearly biased against the Commissioner and the Holy See and the bloggers in question are working in concert (Rorate Caeli and Correspondenza Romana, for example, regularly repeat and support each other’s reports).

Again, no reputable news outlet has taken responsibility for such “reports.” As far as I know—at least in the English-speaking world—no responsible news outlet has even repeated these stories emerging from the blogosphere. Please consider that when real journalists publish information from anonymous sources, the reporter takes personal responsibility with his real name, and the organization attempts to confirm the information by evidential reporting of independent sources. Nothing like this has ever been attempted by these bloggers. On the contrary, as already mentioned, there is an incestuous relationship between the various bloggers and their sources, and there has also been the habitual refusal to accept personal accountability for the damaging information that has been released. Continue reading

Defending Fr. Volpi Against Another Calumny

The blog Rorate Caeli has leveled a new accusation against the authority of the Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.  In a recent post there, the blogger makes the accusation that the Apostolic Commissioner, Fr. Fidenzio Volpi, with the approval of Pope Francis, has engaged in the purposeful destruction of the Institute.

The latest “evidence” shown for this is Fr. Volpi’s alleged prohibition of a yearly Christmas Novena of Masses that had been offered in one of our contemplative houses for some time previously.  The blogger quotes an unnamed source, which he claims to be one of our former seminarians. Continue reading

Dear Father . . .

Quote

Father,

I read your blog and know that you comment on the SSPX and related matters. What do you make of this: http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/08/sspx-priest-celebrates-mass-in-saint.html  This does seem to change things. They were given permission to offer mass. Here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQfiaY-6bRQ Thank you for your time. The SSPX confirms that permission was in fact given: http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/sspx-mass-st-peters-basilica-video-4715.

I can only speculate what it all means.  I am not inclined to think that it means anything juridical is in the works.  However, I would hazard to say that it indicates that Pope Francis has no ill will or nefarious plan for undoing the provisions which favor those attached to the TLM.  Which is what I have always been saying.

And for this reason the confusion of Damien Thompson as to why then Pope Francis would have placed restrictions on our Institute, might best be explained by considering that perhaps the narrative some traditionalists have spread about my Institute are wrong.

Homily for the Memorial of St. Pius X

Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Pius X, one of the great popes of the 20th century. He was born in 1835, Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, and he grew up in poverty. His father was the village postman and little Giuseppe walked six kilometers to school everyday. This poverty characterized his whole life, and it was not just a matter of physical poverty. St. Pius X was a man who was truly poor in spirit. Our Lord said: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Throughout his life as simple priest and Franciscan tertiary, then as bishop of Mantua, later as cardinal archbishop of Milan and finally as supreme pontiff of the universal Church, Giuseppe Sarto, remained a simple man and a lover of poverty. His last will and testament gives witness to this with the words: “I was born poor, I have lived in poverty, and I wish to die poor.”

Thus, this great man was single minded throughout his life and placed himself at the dispositions of Christ and His Church, without consideration for himself. This was his poverty in spirit. His whole life was to serve Christ and the Church.

Continue reading